|CCIS Seeking Asylum in North America Joint Speaker Series
Gaming Refugee Status for Central Americans? Decision Rules, Application and the Refugee Status Determination Process of U.S. Hearing Officers
In the absence of sufficient transparency at the border regarding how credible fear determinations are made, it is often difficult to assess how accurate are decisions made by border control agents increasingly responsible for issuing credible fear determinations. Drawing upon an in depth case study of the American Immigration Lawyers Association-American Immigration Council Artesia Pro Bono Project for Central American women and children, the study examines the process of seeking asylum through irregular entry across the United States national border and argues that, through the use of discretion and informal administrative processes, the asylum system, intended to protect human rights, is “gamed” by decision makers such that it has turn into a deterrence system in violation of our own commitment to asylum and human rights. The research seeks to inform how policy change concerning the “Central American migration crisis” differentially plays out on the ground and advance understandings of how the legal process (starting at the border and ending with a final determination), as an overtly executive infused process, engages with legal aid and advocacy organizations and decision makers across the process that exercise discretion as they juggle the competing demands of technical rationality and quests for justice in their operation.
Thursday, May 7, 4:00pm
|Galya Ruffer is the Director of International Studies and the founding Director of the Center for Forced Migration Studies at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University. Her work centers on refugee rights and protection, regional understandings of the root causes of conflict and refugee crises, rule of law and the process of international justice with a particular focus on the Great Lakes Region of Africa. She has published on the role of experts in the refugee status determination process, testimony and justice in the DR Congo, asylum law and policy, human rights litigation in transnational courts and immigrant incorporation and integration in Europe. Her new research focuses on refugee protection outside of the international legal framework. Aside from her academic work, she has worked as an immigration attorney representing political asylum claimants both as a solo-practitioner and as a pro-bono attorney.|
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